At the tourist office of Los Alerces National Park in Patagonia, the ranger who welcomed me noted that I had chosen the most difficult path. Suspiciously, he asked me if I was in good shape to complete such an adventure. I can’t deny that I felt a little offended. “Of course,” I lied confidently.
I started down the path with a powerful step while whistling The Bridge of the River Kwai. The first hour would have been easier without the nettles, mosquitoes, leeches and the loosening of my right shoe sole.
Then things got a little complicated because of my problems with dizziness and an irregular heartbeat, as well as the fact that the trail climbed up to a 250-meter cliff between huge slippery rocks. I felt a little pain in my chest, my heart began to beat a little faster. I took my pulse, counted 140 beats per minute…. And my vision began to blur.
Six hours later, when I opened my eyes in the medical evacuation helicopter transporting me to the hospital, I asked the medic if I could continue my climb. “Given your state of health,” he replied flatly, “you can’t even climb on a stool.
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